CPA representation grows in Congress with reelections, likely House newcomers

BY KEN TYSIAC
November 8, 2012

The number of CPAs in Congress is growing as a result of Tuesday’s elections.

Rep. Brad Sherman held off Rep. Howard Berman in an unusual and hotly contested race between two congressional Democrats in California’s 30th District as all eight CPAs serving in the House of Representatives won reelection.

In addition, Republican Tom Rice won in South Carolina’s newly created 7th District, and Democrat Patrick Murphy may have unseated Rep. Allen West in Florida’s 18th District in a race that may see a recount. With 100% of precincts reporting, Murphy had 160,328 votes to West’s 157,872, but absentee and provisional ballots could change the outcome.

If Murphy’s advantage is certified, the total number of CPAs in the House will rise to 10, and the number of CPAs and accountants in Congress will jump to 12. The two accountant senators, Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), were not up for reelection this year.

In addition to Sherman, the other CPAs who were reelected were:

  • Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.)
  • Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.)
  • Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)
  • Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.)
  • Rep. James Renacci (R-Ohio)


In February 2011, Sherman and Conaway created the Bipartisan Congressional CPA Caucus. The informal group is dedicated to discussing and formulating innovative policy approaches to issues of interest to CPAs such as tax administration and compliance, and accounting and auditing standards. The caucus also seeks to reduce the compliance burden of tax laws.

Sherman was involved in an unusual race following redistricting that led to him competing against fellow Rep. Berman. California’s new primary system pitted the two Democrats against each other. This year, for the first time, candidates from all parties participated in one, open primary that welcomed all of the state’s voters.

The top two vote getters—regardless of their party affiliation—advanced to the general election. In the 30th District, Sherman and Berman were the top vote getters in the primary.

Sherman, the incumbent in the 30th District, received 109,311 votes to 71,420 for Berman.

Renacci also faced a fellow member of the House as a result of redistricting. He edged Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton in the 16th District in Ohio, 181,137 votes to 165,638.

Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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